|Thursday, July 20, 2017 - For scores, video, photos and more information, visit CDGA.org/ILStateAm.
HOMEWOOD, Ill. - No adversity was going to deny Patrick Flavin (Highwood) of his goal this week: winning the 87th Illinois State Amateur Championship at Calumet Country Club. Not a four-shot deficit entering the final day. Not a weather delay that cut the final day from 36 to 18 holes. Not even a bogey on the penultimate hole that cut his lead to one stroke would stop him, as his 10-under 200 tally edged Jordan Hahn (Spring Grove) by a single shot.
“This is always a highlight of the summer,” the rising senior at Miami University said following the win. “I’ve come up short the last couple years [finishing sixth in each of the past two years], so to win, I can’t describe it. I have a few college wins and those were obviously big for me, but winning the Illinois State Amateur is unbelievable, it’s definitely top of the list (of accomplishments).”
After a four-and-a-half hour weather delay on Thursday morning shortened the Championship from 72 to 54 holes (and from 36 to 18 on Thursday), Flavin and Hahn began their final lap of the 6,619-yard Donald Ross-designed layout heading in separate directions, as Flavin birdied four of the first seven holes. Hahn, coming off the heels of a Championship-record 61, bogeyed the fourth, swinging a four-shot lead into a one-shot deficit. After each bogeyed the par-4 eighth, Hahn slammed home a birdie putt on the par-3 ninth, leaving both at 10-under with nine holes to play.
“That one had some pace on it,” Hahn said of nailing the putt. “It was the first one I got to fall all day. It was a good confidence booster heading to the back nine with a birdie on a difficult hole.”
“With 18 holes, I needed to get off to a really good start, so my plan was to be extremely aggressive out of the gate. I fired at the pins and fortunately I made some putts,” Flavin noted regarding his front nine charge to eliminate the four-stroke deficit.
Making the final turn, the pair matched each other shot-for-shot for three holes before Flavin played the par-5 13th out of the fifth fairway successfully for birdie, while Hahn bogeyed, giving Flavin a two-shot lead. The advantage grew to three at the 14th, where Hahn bogeyed. After pars at the 15th and 16th, the duel took another twist at the 17th as Hahn knocked in a 25-foot birdie putt, while Flavin couldn’t save par from the sand and settled for bogey.
At 18, with Flavin nursing a one-shot lead, the drama shifted into overdrive. Hahn neatly placed his drive in the center of the fairway, while Flavin found himself in the far left rough behind some trees. After placing a dramatic arching 6-iron approach from 188 yards into the wind on the green, Flavin would make a two-putt par to seal the victory.
“That was definitely the shot of the day,” Flavin recalled. “I hit the right one at the right time and that’s what you need to do to win. Jordan was hanging in there, so I was thrilled to pull that one off.”
Flavin, who was co-leader after 18 holes following a 63, shot even-par 70 in Wednesday’s second round, earning a slot in the final pairing with Hahn, who preceded his historic 61 with an opening round 68. Flavin’s fellow co-leader from the first round, Trent Wallace (Joliet) finished in a three-way tie for third with Charlie Netzel (Western Springs) and David Perkins (East Peoria), five shots back. Two-time Illinois State Amateur champ Todd Mitchell (Bloomington) and 2012 champion Quinlan Prchal (Glenview) were among a four-player tie for eighth place at even par, while 2014 winner Raymond Knoll (Naperville) finished 9-over par in a tie for 29th.
The low 20 finishers (3-over par 203 and better) all earned exemptions into the 2018 Illinois State Amateur Championship, to be contested at Bloomington Country Club.